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Showing posts from November, 2015

Business Spanish: Week 14

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by Ann Abbott

This is the last full week of classes. It's hard to believe, but it's also a good thing. We've covered a lot of ground in this class, and it's time to tie it all together.

In our remaining time, we will finish up our networking project, which we began during Week 7 and then continued on the Wednesday of Week 11. We need to get our heads back into the project and do the actual work today.

Lunes: Proyecto de networking Alumni I reminded the students of the alumni they had voted for, and I put them into their groups.
·MarkWehling (Kristin, Haley, Daniel,Shamir, Xuefei) ·DaveMackinson(Brandon, Laura, Emily, Nicholas, John) ·BenjaminBrodner (Florian, Claudia, Daniela, Fiona, Shamus). Instructions  Repasar la información sobre el individuo.Usen LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, y más para informarte sobre esta persona y empezar a formular preguntas.Releer. 5 Tips For Writing The Perfect Networking EmailProducir. Entre todos, escriban por lo menos 15 preguntas posibles pa…

Business Spanish: Week 13

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by Ann Abbott

This week reflects a re-ordering of last week's lesson plans.

Lunes: Latinos in the US This reading focuses on US Latinos. I'll try to accomplish three things in the class (though time might be tight).  (I'm putting this here more for my reference than anything else: the pages in Chapter 14 are messed up in my desk copy of Éxito comercial, so I need to use my copy from CourseSmart which is changing to VitalSource.)  Pew Hispanic Center.I'll ask students to explore and read the information at the Pew Hispanic Center for several minutes (7-10). Then I'll put them into pairs and ask them to draw at least three big-picture trends that come from looking at the information from more than one piece. That is, I want them to see trends among the pieces, not just within the pieces.Census dataWe'll do an activity similar to the one I do with my Spanish in the Community students using the Quick Facts from the US census data. First, we'll do an analysis o…

What Can Business Professionals Tell Us about Language Studies?

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by Ann Abbott

My personal and professional lives tend to blend. On Facebook I post pictures of my kids alongside links to resources for colleagues. While I wait for my boys at Sylvan, I answer work emails. I would even go so far to say that my work provides some of the most important sources of my personal satisfaction.

But this is a first: I am going to interview my husband for an LSP webinar. As an entrepreneur with a business that has 50% international sales, Beniamino has given me insights into business and professionalism that I then bring into my teaching. Now is my chance to bring those same insights to my LSP colleagues. And if any students want to listen in and ask questions--in English, Italian or Spanish--they are welcome!

Questions I will pose to Beniamino for the NOBLE Webinar.
What is your business? Because it can be very technical, can you explain it as if you were talking to your mother?I try to explain to my entrepreneurship students that business is about solving client…

Business Spanish: Week 12

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by Ann Abbott

Thanksgiving break is nearing, but we still have two more weeks to go. So I need to keep my eye on my goals: give students opportunities to take information and transform it into something useful. In other words, read the book then come to class and DO SOMETHING.

Our last chapter of the semester was voted on and chosen by students: Chapter 14, Las perspectivas para el futuro. Last year students chose the same chapter. I probably would have chosen the same one, too.

Lunes: Lectura comercial, Capítulo 14  *Changes below After a quick review of the main topics and trends, I will put students into groups and give them the following assignment: create a four-year plan for college students that will prepare them to be successful in the environment the authors outline. Here are some details they will need to fill in: Classes. The should suggest at least two courses per semester. They can "create" two courses; the others should be pulled from courses already offered at …

Want to Live and Work in Chile after You Graduate with Your Spanish Major? Try Chile's English Opens Doors Program

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by Ann Abbott
I recently received a message from a former student who applied to the "English Opens Doors" program in Chile and asked for a letter of recommendation.  "I'm emailing you to let you know that I applied for the English Opens Doors Program. It's a government run volunteer program in Chile were they place you in a classroom (5th-12th grade) with another Chilean teacher and you help teach the speaking/listening part of English." I was delighted to write her letter because she was a model student and person. (As an aside, you might be interested to see what I ask all my students to provide me when they ask for a letter. I didn't ask this student, though, because the form was short and the details of her work with me were fresh in my mind.) Furthermore, one of my former students went on this same program several years ago: Jason Flynn.
I quickly submitted her letter and received this message from her in response: "I will definitely let you …

Medical Spanish: Where Are We Now?

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by Ann Abbott

More and more I come to the conclusion that approaches like "Medical Spanish," "Business Spanish" or "Spanish for Social Workers" is the wrong approach at the undergraduate level at a university like mine, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I have written about this (see especially my 2014 with Barbara Lafford and Darcy Lear). It's too soon to specialize. It's useless to memorize long lists of overly-specific vocabulary that students might or might not use in the future. (Who knows if they'll even be accepted into medical school? Or get a job in marketing? Or stick around in social work for more than a couple of years?)

What we could do--and do very well--is the following:
Spanish language. Work on students' Spanish proficiency. There is no magic bullet, but our classes should be designed to help students along that path and study abroad (especially one-year programs) should be encouraged.Community-based learning. S…

Student Spotlight: Kimberly Soto

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by Ann Abbott

Kimberly Soto was a student in my SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" course last semester and did her community service learning (CSL) work at Child Care Resource Center with Milagros Jerrell. Now she is taking SPAN 232 "Spanish in the Community" with Liz Moreno and works with Alejandra Coronel at Presence Covenant Health Center. Students usually take these courses in the reverse order, but for Kimberly, a strong Spanish speaker with an equally strong work ethic and sense of solidarity with the Latino community, the order of the courses didn't matter at all. What matter was that she always stood out for her intelligence, dedication and specific examples of what she was seeing and observing during her community service learning work.

So it was no surprise to me to hear that she is interested in a pursuing a Masters in Social Work. In fact, I have had several students in recent years who have gone on to MSW programs, either her at UIUC or UI Ch…

Spanish Community Service Learning in an Intermediate Course

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by Ann Abbott
I wanted to teach our fourth-semester Spanish language course this semester so that I could use the intermediate Spanish textbook that Holly and I had worked so hard on (and that I believed in), and also because I wanted to see for myself what it means to do foreign language community service learning at the 100-level. 

My plan was to do what I have always said you could do: focus on one-time events (to start, at least), match the task to the students' abilities, and lower or raise the supervision depending on "the stakes" of the task at hand. 

So I did that. The goal for the experience was not necessarily about language learning at all. Instead it was about learning about the local Latino community. About seeing themselves as language learners in a world where people speak Spanish outside of the classroom. About feeling a connection, seeing a reason for learning Spanish, recognizing themselves as possessing valuable knowledge.

For the students who had the pers…

Fourth-semester Spanish: Week 11

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by Ann Abbott
Martes: Capítulo 4, Parte 2, Vocabulario y Gramática III We're moving from general discussions about "La conciencia social" to professions that related to that, like social services, international aid and politics. Students should have done their online work before class, so we will work, as usual, on putting the information to use on activities that require communication, exchange of ideas and conclusions. Actividad 4-26, p. 164. First, students will rank the international aid activities from least to most dangerous. Then, in pairs, they'll compare and analyze their responses. I'll ask them what they think the role of being a language learner is in these jobs.Actividad 4-27, p. 165. First, students will read through the three options of people they could ask for a letter of recommendation and choose one. Then in groups of three, they will have to come together to decide on which one, and why. Actividad 4-30, p. 168. We will review the answers to Pas…

Community Service Learning Opportunities: Events

by Ann Abbott

There are more opportunities to use your Spanish with native speakers and learn about the local Latino community. Please correspond directly with the person in charge.

Spanish Story TimeFriday, November 6 and Saturday, November 14
OJO: note that Tolono is a town just a few miles south of Champaign. You will need transportation and some extra travel time if you choose to participate in that particular event.
CLACS has two Spanish Story Time programs in November. Spanish and Illinois students are invited to participate :
     1. Spanish Story Time at Tolono Public Library
- Friday November 6             - 10:30 am             - Tolono Public Library. 111 E. Main, Tolono, IL 61880 On Friday November 6th we will present the book Biblioburro Come with your children to listen the story in English/Spanish, enjoy Latin American songs, and make an Alphabet booklet! 2.Spanish Story Time at the Urbana Free Library
·Sat Nov.  14 ·2:30 PM ·The Urbana Free Library
On Saturday November 14, we will …

Business Spanish: Week 11

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by Ann Abbott

It's so hard to believe that we're already in Week 11 of the semester. On our campus, classes last for 14 1/2 weeks, so now that we're in November there truly is not much time left. As always, I both wish for more time (to do more with the students) and for it to come to its timely conclusion (I can feel that we're all in a slump).

Here are my plans for this week.

Lunes: Una vista panorámica del Perú y de Bolivia (Capítulo 9, Éxito comercial) We´re still on Chapter 9 of Éxito comercial this week, and today we´re focusing on sections focusing on the countries of Peru and Bolivia. This is how I will use our 50 minutes together.
First, I will put students in six pairs (or groups of three) and give them an assignment.  Find, analyze and describe one Peruvian business in the tourism sector.Find, analyze and describe one Peruvian business in the mining sector.Find, analyze and describe one Peruvian business in the petroleum sector.Research and inform yourself ab…

Highlights of The Language Educator 10.4 2015

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by Ann Abbott
I always enjoy reading The Language Educator, ACTFL's magazine that goes out to all its members. Here are some highlights from this issue.
Poster: Oral Proficiency Levels in the Workplace. This is the first thing you will notice in the magazine, because as soon as you pick it up, the glued in poster has a different feel. Here are some quick ideas about how you might use it. Goal setting. Ask students (and colleagues!) to look at the right hand column and see how much time and energy they need to dedicate to language learning in order to reach higher proficiency and more complex professional tasks.Script writing. Match up the Intermediate Mid row with the Corresponding Professions/Positions column, and ask students to discern what some of the "highly predictable contexts" would be for those positions, and have them write scripts based on the repetitive language they would use.Study abroad offerings. Ask students to analyze the study abroad offerings at their c…